3 On Your Side

Homeowners threatened with foreclosure even though their home is paid in full

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The City of Phoenix notified the Halsteads of its intent to foreclose, giving the couple 10 days to pay up or leave their home. (Source: 3TV) The City of Phoenix notified the Halsteads of its intent to foreclose, giving the couple 10 days to pay up or leave their home. (Source: 3TV)

Having your home paid off is quite an accomplishment.

Imagine how shocked a Phoenix couple who achieved that were when they received a letter threatening to take their home away from them.

That foreclosure actually came from the City of Phoenix and according to the couple, it was pretty intimidating because they almost lost their home over a simple mistake.

Tiffany Halstead is proud of her family's recent accomplishment

“We were very blessed that we were able to buy our very first, well it's our second - we bought our home and paid cash," she said.

That's right, they were able to pay cash for their Phoenix home, and have no mortgage, giving them a sense of financial security.

"It was nice to know we didn't have to worry about a mortgage payment and that I could just stay at home," Halstead said.

Halstead's sense of security came to a screeching halt after going to her mailbox a couple of weeks ago and finding a letter saying the City of Phoenix wanted to foreclose on her home.
Halstead said she contacted the City of Phoenix to inquire and was told there were some previous, unpaid liens on the house.

"We had 10 days to vacate the property if we couldn't pay the $3,000 in the back liens," she explained.

Halstead panicked but remembered she had purchased title insurance for her home in case something like this ever happened.
The title company told Halstead they discovered the City of Phoenix liens prior to her buying her home. The title company didn't worry about the liens because they had already been paid off, resolved by the previous homeowner.
So, why in the world is the City of Phoenix threatening to take Halstead's home?

"I don't know how far that would go, if all of a sudden a sheriff's officer is at my front door telling me we need to get out," she said. "It's a little nerve-wracking."

3 On Your Side contacted the City of Phoenix, which looked into the matter and acknowledged there was in glitch in their system that generated that letter.
The City also discovered those liens had been paid, just like the title company indicated. The City apologized and eventually sent Halstead a letter say the matter has been cleared.
Halstead said if hadn't been for 3 On Your Side, she might have been stuck paying $3,000 she didn't even owe. 

"[I'm] absolutely relieved," she said. "I'm not gonna have to worry about it again and if somebody comes knocking I'll be able to pull that right out and say, 'No, this is a mistake; here you go,' and that will be the end of it."

Copyright 2015 3TV (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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